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Become A Mainframe Systems Administrator

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Working As A Mainframe Systems Administrator

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $76,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Mainframe Systems Administrator Do

Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks. They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

Duties

Network and computer systems administrators typically do the following:

  • Determine an organization’s network and computer system needs before setting one up
  • Install all network hardware and software and make needed upgrades and repairs
  • Maintain network and computer system security and ensure that all systems are operating correctly
  • Collect data in order to evaluate and optimize network or system performance
  • Add users to a network and assign and update security permissions on the network
  • Train users in the proper use of hardware and software
  • Interpret and solve problems when a user or an automated monitoring system alerts them that one exists

Administrators manage an organization’s servers and desktop and mobile equipment. They ensure that email and data storage networks work properly. They also make sure that employees’ workstations are working efficiently and stay connected to the central computer network. Some administrators manage telecommunication networks.

In some cases, administrators help network architects design and analyze network models. They also participate in decisions about buying future hardware or software to upgrade their organization’s network. Some administrators provide technical support to computer users, and they also may supervise computer support specialists who help solve users’ problems.

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How To Become A Mainframe Systems Administrator

Most employers require network and computer systems administrators to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. Others may require only a postsecondary certificate.

Education

Although some employers require only a postsecondary certificate, most require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computer or information science. There are degree programs that focus on computer network and system administration. However, because administrators work with computer hardware and equipment, a degree in computer engineering or electrical engineering usually is acceptable as well. Programs in these fields usually include classes in computer programming, networking, or systems design.

Because network technology is continually changing, administrators need to keep up with the latest developments. Many continue to take courses throughout their careers and attend information technology (IT) conferences to keep up with the latest technology. Some businesses require that an administrator get a master’s degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification programs are generally offered directly from vendors or from vendor-neutral certification providers. Certification validates knowledge and best practices required from network and computer systems administrators. Companies may require their network and computer systems administrators to be certified in the product they use. Microsoft and Cisco offer some of the most common certifications.

Other Experience

To gain practical experience, many network administrators participate in internship programs while in school.

Advancement

Network administrators can advance to become computer network architects. They can also advance to managerial jobs in information technology (IT) departments, such as computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Administrators need analytical skills to evaluate network and system performance and determine how changes in the environment will affect them.

Communication skills. Administrators must be able to describe problems and their solutions to non-IT workers.

Computer skills. Administrators oversee the connections of many different types of computer equipment and must ensure that they all work together properly.

Multitasking skills. Administrators may have to work on many problems and tasks at the same time.

Problem-solving skills. Administrators must be able to quickly resolve any problems that arise with computer networks.

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Mainframe Systems Administrator Typical Career Paths

Average Length of Employment
Administrator 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Mainframe Systems Administrator
Consultant 4.7%
Top Careers After Mainframe Systems Administrator
Manager 3.0%

Do you work as a Mainframe Systems Administrator?

Top Skills for A Mainframe Systems Administrator

  1. Cics
  2. Z/OS
  3. Unix
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Have done JAVA service refresh and created environment for running Java programs through CICS.
  • Participate in the upgrade of z/OS 1.13.
  • Lead the team for implementation of major enhancements with JCL, DB2, CICS and VSAM and documentation of the upgrades.
  • Manage core and secondary system backups and verification of data integrity.
  • Analyzed production mainframe tape capacity, utilization and disaster recovery infrastructure for designing and configuring mainframe storage subsystems.

Mainframe Systems Administrator Demographics

Gender

Male

55.4%

Female

30.4%

Unknown

14.3%
Ethnicity

White

53.2%

Asian

22.7%

Hispanic or Latino

11.5%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

2.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Hebrew

33.3%

French

33.3%

Spanish

33.3%

Mainframe Systems Administrator Education

Schools

Drexel University

8.3%

University of Phoenix

8.3%

Strayer University

8.3%

Kaplan University

8.3%

University of Cincinnati

4.2%

Xavier University

4.2%

Tulane University

4.2%

Boston College

4.2%

Sanford-Brown College-Mendota Heights

4.2%

Northeastern Illinois University

4.2%

Alexandria Technical College

4.2%

Saint Leo University

4.2%

A-Technical College

4.2%

Mercer County Community College

4.2%

State University of New York Empire State College

4.2%

Westminster College (Missouri)

4.2%

Ellis Hospital

4.2%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

4.2%

University of Dallas

4.2%

Temple University

4.2%
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Majors

Computer Science

32.0%

Computer Information Systems

10.0%

Information Technology

8.0%

History

6.0%

Electrical Engineering

6.0%

Management

4.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.0%

Business

4.0%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Sociology

2.0%

Data Processing

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Management Information Systems

2.0%

Philosophy

2.0%

General Studies

2.0%

Project Management

2.0%

Information Systems

2.0%

Nursing

2.0%

Communication

2.0%

Computer Programming

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.5%

Other

15.1%

Masters

13.2%

Associate

7.5%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

1.9%
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